Mulch is a great way to retain moisture and protect your soil. In nature, soil is not usually exposed to sun and wind, it is usually covered in leaf litter and organic matter which act like a blanket.
Whole tree or wood chip mulch as it is commonly referred to mimics this process. It suppresses weeds, retains moisture and conditions the soil, attracting earthworms and adding beneficial nutrients like nitrogen to the soil. Worms are attracted to the moisture and decomposing matter and drag leaf litter down into the soil conditioning it and encouraging the breakdown of clay soils.
You can mulch with other products like seaweed, newspaper, stones and bark, but these may not condition the soil as well as the whole tree mulch.
Mulching helps to keep the soil surface warm so apply straight onto the ground 100mm thick to start with and then a light “top up” once every 6 months or so.
Don’t mulch right up to the trunk of tree as this is not an area you want decaying matter to collect, you want to leave a gap for aeration.
The benefits of mulching are huge and your garden will love you for it